Journey times in Ukraine have been slashed by a quarter after the completion of extensive rail improvements.
High-speed trains capable of reaching 160km/h are now in operation between all four of the country's UEFA EURO 2012 venues – Kyiv, Kharkiv, Donetsk and Lviv – as well as Dnipropetrovsk and Odesa. The journey between Kyiv and Lviv, for example, has been cut from six and a half hours to under five, while the once six-hour slog from Kyiv to Kharkiv is down to four and a half. There will be at least one speed train per day, two from Kyiv to Kharkiv.
Ukrainian UEFA EURO 2012 tournament director Markiyan Lubkivskiy said: "Ukraine has undergone significant changes in preparation for the European Championship. There are four new stadiums, four renovated airports, and the road infrastructure has improved within and between the host cities. The rail network has been reconstructed and the new fast trains will provide the best service for our citizens and visitors."
Martin Kallen, UEFA's operations director, added: "It's our biggest tournament yet in terms of territory and the distance between host cities is huge – transport will play a crucial role in the event's success. These fast trains will link EURO 2012 host cities and offer fans a quick, comfortable trip from one city to another at a reasonable price."
A new automated ticket system was launched on 21 May, offering users the opportunity to book and purchase tickets online.
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